Backyard Fairies

Phoebe Wahl. Knopf, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5247-1527-4
Even if a person never sees a fairy, isn’t searching for them enough? Wahl (Sonya’s Chickens) suggests that the answer is yes, pairing a bewitching poem with folksy mixed-media collages. Working in gouache, pencil, and other materials, she creates a landscape dense with vegetation outside a girl’s wood-shingled home, perfect for hiding fairies, sprites, and other tiny beings. “Have you ever found, while out on your own.../ A tiny, magical somebody’s home?” she begins, as the rosy-cheeked, freckled girl sprawls in the dirt, peering into a hollow stump. Tucked behind a toadstool, for readers’ eyes only, sits an elf, puffing on a bubble pipe. Beyond the luscious, lulling verse, a substantial part of the book’s enjoyment comes from seeing what the girl does not. “Where are they?!” she wonders during a midnight excursion; a cutaway reveals a subterranean party in full swing just beneath her feet, where small mythical creatures dance, feast, and cavort in pointy hats and petal gowns. Readers are all but certain to take a closer look at their environs for evidence of magic in their midst. Ages 3–7. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018
Release date: 03/06/2018
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-101-91914-9
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-1-5247-1528-1
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